From the moment I first met Shaun Torrente, I was awestruck. Jason Johnson, my speedonthewater.com cohort, introduced us. during the 2012 Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla. Johnson already knew Torrente fairly well from covering his tunnel-boat accomplishments. He was a rising star in powerboat racing’s most demanding discipline.
From winning tunnel-boat world championships to building a thriving business, the accomplishments of Shaun and Flavia Torrente speak to the power of family. (Click here or on the images above to watch the video.)
Torrente had this intense presence, a fifty-fifty mix of ferocity and stillness. I’m not a tunnel-boat racer, but I imagine those are good personality traits for one to have, especially one who would go on to win F1 H2O World Championships in 2017 and 2018, and follow them up with an XCAT Series World Championship in 2019.
And all the while, he was building STR Racing, which creates the high-performance boating world’s most covered outboard engine brackets and other fine products, into a thriving business.
None of it came without sacrifice for Torrente, who was born and raised in Miami and lives with his wife, Flavia, and their teenage daughter, Isabella, in their beautiful waterfront home in Cape Coral, Fla. The guy has more international air miles than most Fortune 500 CEOs, and while that might sound thrilling and glamorous—it’s neither—it translates to time away from family.
If you know anything about Shaun Torrente, you know that his sun rises and sets with family. Time away from his wife and daughter tortures him.
So when Johnson suggested we feature Torrente in our inaugural seven-episode, Speed On The Water “In The Lead” video series last year, there wasn’t even a discussion. We had just finished riding the famed Flow Trail in the Santa Cruz, Calif., mountains. It was the kind hard-turning, G-force-inducing mountain bike blast that tunnel-boat racer like Torrente would appreciate if he rode.
We short-listed him for the series before we even had short list.
As it happened, Johnson, the natural choice to interview his longtime friend for the video shoot in Southwest Florida, had a schedule conflict. That meant I got the privilege of being the dude behind the cameraman posing questions to Torrente.
When the shooting day was done, I was even more awestruck than I was the first time we met 10 years ago.
Want to know why? Watch the video.
Now in its second year, the Speed On The Water “In The Lead” documentary-style video series is powered Mercury Racing with backing from MYCO Trailers, CP Performance, Bluave Marine Audio, The Firm Realty Group, Hamilton Marine Finance and Hardin Marine.
Related stories and videos
New Video: In The Lead With Waves And Wheels Justin Wagner Now Live
New Video: In The Lead With DCB’s Tony Chiaramonte Now Live
In The Lead With John Cosker Video Live Now And A Must-Watch
Commentary: In The Lead And On The Backstretch
Airing Today: In The Lead With Nor-Tech’s Trond Schou And Nils Johnsen
In The With Shaun Torrente
In The Lead With Grant Bruggemann
Behind The Scenes With The Speed On The Water ‘In The Lead’ Video Series Crew
Speed On The Water Launching ‘In The Lead’ Video Series